Author Topic: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville  (Read 2695 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« on: February 17, 2012, 03:24:23 AM »
Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville



Amtrak's 11-month-long touring train exhibit, to celebrate 40 years as "America's Railroad", is coming to an end mid-March, with just four stops left. Metrojacksonville was there to commemorate Feb. 11-12 at Amtrak Jacksonville Station for a look into the company's historic past, and its promising future.  

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-feb-amtrak-40th-anniversary-stops-in-jacksonville

mbwright

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 08:57:44 AM »
The Am-shack looks much nicer than I had remembered.  I don't recall any of the covered areas the last time I took it (yes, it's been a while).  Too bad it was not downtown.  Would hve been nice to see in Tallahassee, but it is not on the list of stops.  The station and Amtrak sign are here, just not in use.  With the increase in ridership, I would think Jax to Tally to Pensacola-Mobile - New Orleans  and other towns, would be a no brainer. 

tufsu1

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 09:32:35 AM »
the return of service between Jax and New Orleans has been a top Amtrak priority for several years....but with Congress playing with Amtrak's capital allocations every year, it just hasn't been feasible.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 11:22:03 AM by tufsu1 »

peestandingup

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 11:34:59 AM »
the return of service between Jax and New Orleans has been a top Amtrak priority for several years....but with Congress playing with Amtrak's capital allocations every year, it just hasn't been feasible.

What a pathetic joke of a transit system we have in this country. "You wanna go north or south, you're good. You wanna go east or west? Yeah, you're pretty much fu*ked." Tell people in Europe or Asian countries they can't go a certain direction & see how that sits.

mtraininjax

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 12:52:13 PM »
Actually the Empire Builder route from Chicago to Seattle is one of their most popular and profitible routes. I saw numbers of a few years ago where they had more than 500,000 riders per year on that route. The Sunset Limited was closer to 15% of that number and then East of New Orleans, the numbers were less than 5% of that number, so they shut it down.

Depending on if you life in Brown or Crenshaw's districts, one is for Amtrak, the other would rather cut it, so it is tough to get a ground swell for Jacksonville when our own leaders cannot get on board, literally.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

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-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

Dashing Dan

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 04:05:25 PM »
The exhibit was very interesting.  A number of interest groups had tables set up, including the National Association of Rail Passengers, and a group involved with the preservation of the Palatka train station.  If I can find their flyer I will post a link.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.  - Benjamin Franklin

exnewsman

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 05:26:26 PM »
Actually the Empire Builder route from Chicago to Seattle is one of their most popular and profitible routes. I saw numbers of a few years ago where they had more than 500,000 riders per year on that route. The Sunset Limited was closer to 15% of that number and then East of New Orleans, the numbers were less than 5% of that number, so they shut it down.

Depending on if you life in Brown or Crenshaw's districts, one is for Amtrak, the other would rather cut it, so it is tough to get a ground swell for Jacksonville when our own leaders cannot get on board, literally.


Brown wants to see rail grow, especially from NE Florida. Wants to grow Amtrak west to NOLA

Ocklawaha

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 11:25:01 PM »
To REALLY complete the Amtrak map East of the Mississippi, 4 long distance and 2 regional routes need to reopen for passenger trains:

(connections north and south)

JACKSONVILLE-Tallahassee-Pensacola-Mobile-Biloxi-New Orleans AKA: THE GULF WIND

MIAMI/TAMPA - JACKSONVILLE-Valdosta-Macon-Atlanta-Chattanooga-Knoxville-Cincinnati (3 way split) Cincinnati -Indainapolis-Chicago/Cincinnati-Lima - Detroit / Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland-Buffalo AKA: ROYAL PALM/PONCE DE LEON

MIAMI/TAMPA - JACKSONVILLE-Savannah-Columbia-Charlotte-Lynchburg-Washington-Baltimore-Philadelphia-New York AKA: CAROLINA SPECIAL

MIAMI/TAMPA - JACKSONVILLE-Waycross-Manchester-Taladega-Birmingham-Corinth-Memphis-Cario-Champaign-Chicago AKA: CITY OF MIAMI

JACKSONVILLE - Starke - Waldo - Ocala - Wildwood - Dade City - Lakeland - Tampa / Lakeland - Arcadia - Ft. Myers AKA: PALMLAND

JACKSONVILLE - Savannah - (Augusta or Macon) - Atlanta - Chattanooga - Nashville - Louisville - St. Louis / Chicago AKA: THE HUMMINGBIRD

Amtrak also needs to add to the Florida train frequency on existing routes, from the current 2, to 6 running NYC-JAX-MIAMI/TAMPA. South of Jacksonville: 2 - Ocala-Lakeland-Tampa, 2 -Daytona-Melbourne-West Palm-Miami 2 - Palatka-Orlando-Winter Haven-Sebring-West Palm-Miami

Tampa - Bartow - West Lake Wales - Sebring - West Palm - Miami : AKA: CROSS FLORIDA SHORTLINE/SILVER PALM

OCKLAWAHA


« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 11:31:08 PM by Ocklawaha »

Dashing Dan

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 07:51:59 AM »
The exhibit was very interesting.  A number of interest groups had tables set up, including the National Association of Rail Passengers, and a group involved with the preservation of the Palatka train station.  If I can find their flyer I will post a link.

Unlike Jacksonville, Palatka already has Amtrak service to its historic downtown train station, with connecting local bus service.

Here's the link to the Palatka Railroad Preservation Society, Inc. 

www.railsofpalatka.org
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.  - Benjamin Franklin

Ocklawaha

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 09:32:44 AM »
PALATKA: This city is an example of what a little civic pride and determination can do. When the Amtrak network with it's focus on what they called "end point terminals," was developed, Palatka and literally thousands of communities from coast to coast were cut out of the system.

The thinking at the time was that railroaders couldn't run successful passenger trains, (read that profitable) so a battalion of airline, bus, motor coach officials were recruited to "make" Amtrak a 'success.'  These people like most modern American's completely missed the point that trains are not so much in the market to sell a ticket from Chicago to Los Angeles, as opposed to hundreds of tickets from Chicago to Newton KS, Las Vegas NM, Gallup NM, etc. It boils down to this definition:

Within the schedule of serving a long-distance market, hundreds of micro-corridors exist. Amtrak is more about Jessup, Palatka, Okeechobee, Winslow and Havre, then it is Chicago, Miami or New Orleans.

So how do we educate Amtrak and our state or federal government so that they understand what rail does best. This is not to say that express trains with very limited stops shouldn't exist, but the benefit of rail is offering a coach seat superior to a first class airline seat in small markets all across the country. In a perfect world we'd have fast, frequent trains between every city pair with a population of 100,000 or more, some express, some locals.

Trains don't fly but the nearly 14,000 annual passengers boarding in Palatka speak well for these smaller markets. While Airlines, bus, and Amtrak all offer services to larger cities, but through the agency of Amtrak, smaller communities can have a choice of modes and comfort, previously available only to the big dogs. Palatka, did EVERYTHING right to get that train service restored, and they've been a smashing success story.

The official Florida State Passenger Rail Plan, with it's single line down the east coast, and a single route from Tampa to Cocoa  via Orlando is a sorry excuse for planning. There is NO rail connection between Orlando and the coast but some are willing to dump millions of scarce dollars for this FDOT proposed rail link, when entire cities, Ocala, Waldo-Gainesville, Sarasota, Ft.  Myers, Tallahassee, Pensacola and many others are being ignored.

OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 10:05:59 AM by Ocklawaha »

Dashing Dan

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 09:48:48 AM »
Very well put, Ock!  I could not agree more.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.  - Benjamin Franklin

mbstout

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Re: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Stops in Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 12:29:15 PM »
I just had to take the Amtrak connecting bus from downtown Norfolk, VA to the Newport News station for a trip back to NY. I'm happy to see that this Navy town, similar to Jax, is working on getting DIRECT Amtrak service to the larger population base of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, & the VA Beach metro area WITHOUT having to be bused to an AmShack on the peninsula across the bay.

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/10/norfolk-amtrak-schedule-will-allow-day-trips-dc

Also happy to see that it would more or less tie into the existing light rail line at Harbor Park.
There was a lot of press there recently of how well the light rail is doing and is exceeding ridership, and business around stations have seen increased revenue.
http://hamptonroads.com/2012/02/sixmonthold-norfolk-light-rail-beating-expectations

All of this Jacksonville could learn from:
Move Amtrak back downtown
Invest in commuter rail
Stimulate nodes of economic activity